Archive for the ‘Parsidora’ Category

Parsidora 20 is out!

Took some time, but finally, I’m pleased to announce that Parsidora 20 is ready. It is based on Fedora 20 and its latest updates including: Linux kernel 3.15.4, Gnome 3.10.4, LibreOffice, and KDE 4.12.5. Additionally, latest packages from RPMFusion is included such as driver akmod packages, audio/video codecs and players and more. Also, there are some packages in Parsidora repositories like Flash player and Jockey (Old Ubuntu’s “Additional Hardware Drivers” application) to enhance out of the box functionality. Finally, it includes my Yum Fast Downloader plugin! 😉

Unlike most other Fedora remixes, it is mainly provided as an installation media rather than Live disk; and contains lots of packages so that it can provide most of users’ needs without downloading anything from the internet.

While users are more likely to have access to fast AND cheep internet connection these days, there are still many who don’t; and also, there are many situations I personally face which I want to have a new fully working Fedora installation as fast as possible, and downloading packages from Internet is not an option.

Parsidora is Fedora compatible, so it can be even used as an offline repository for existing Fedora installations. Yes, many of you might wonder if an offline repository is useful, but believe me, there are people who might access Internet using dial-up or GPRS, or have good but expensive internet connection.

Anyway, while we are late, I’m happy that it is finally available! 🙂

Nowruz Gift: Yum Fast Downloader 0.6.0 Released!

Happy Nowruz!

Gladly, I was able to devote some time to update yum fast downloader plugin to work much better with recent yum versions in Fedora 19/20. The plugin effectively disabled delta rpm support since the integration of presto into yum. To fix the issue, I reworked the plugin using the new download framework of yum/urlgrabber. The result is yum-fast-downloader plugin for Fedora 20, which not only fixes the problem but also brings better integration. As a result, the plugin is now responsible for almost all downloads including downloading drpm packages.
Besides, it is now possible to specify arbitrary command line arguments (e.g. -q) for aria2c in the plugin’s configuration file. Unlike previous versions, in this version download of multiple files in parallel are handled by multiple instances of aria2c; but I’d like to change it back to a single aria2c instance in future. I’ve added the new version for Fedora 20 in the repo, but not for Fedora 19. It should work on Fedora 19 too, but I have not tested it. If you tried YFD 0.6.0 in Fedora 19 successfully, please let me know so that I’ll add the new version to F19 repo too. Thanks!

What about DNF?
DNF looks promising. It is much faster than yum, and even uses xml metadata rather than sqlite ones which are smaller. However, it’s internal structure is completely different from yum, so it needs a completely new plugin. I’m still not sure if it is possible, but I’ll try in future. 🙂

Parsidora 18

Finally, the fifth version of our Fedora remix, Parsidora 18, is released. Parsidora is our Fedora remix specially targeted for users which don’t have fast and/or cheap internet connections, and for Persian users. It also tries to provide a painless out of the box experience for users.

Parsidora differs with most other Fedora remixes in two points: 1. Its images are big, as we try to use all the space available in a DVD. 2. It is (mainly) provided as installation media, rather than live media.
It is actually what an offline user would/should prefer. Such users usually don’t download Fedora, and try to grab its media physically. Therefore, when more packages are available on media, they will be happier since they don’t need to download them. Even downloading the metadata of Fedora repositories is a pain for some users.

It should not be a live distro, because users rarely need to install all the packages and should be able to install only what they need. And it’ll probably need more space in live form. There is an additional bonus: Parsidora DVDs can be used as add-on repository for existing (and not very uptodate) Fedora installations.

Previously, I wrote about problems building updated Fedora 18 installation disks, like what happened for Fedora 17. Unfortunately, I was unable to work around the problem and Fedora doesn’t care much about building updated installation media after the release. Unlike Parsidora 17, this time we decided to release Parsidora 18, without any updates (except some updates from rpmfusion). It is not what we liked, but it is better than not having any release for a long time. I hope that Fedora 19 updates won’t break installation media creation unlike Fedora 17 & 18.

I’m happy that we have a new release. However, I’m waiting for Fedora 19 release to release Parsidora 19 soon afterwards, specially considering the negative effect of Gnome 3.6 on me :P. 3.8 looks a little better at least.

Have fun!

Problems in creating a Fedora installation disk spin (Parsidora)

Parsidora 17 was not released, because fedora installation disks created from Fedora 17 updates repository didn’t work. We decided to skip Parsidora 17 and create Parsidora 18. Parsidora 18 images were ready long time ago, but we have not released it yet. Why? Because if you create an installation disk using pungi (with updates repository enabled), the installer will crash on boot. Unfortunately, the bug is unnoticed after a long time. If you create a Fedora installation disk with release repositories, it works fine but if you try with updates repository enabled, it’ll crash. I’ve tried a lot to find the offending package, but my efforts have been fruitless. I’ve created images with old kernel, anaconda, and even Xorg, but all of them crash.
I’ll try a little longer, but we might decide to release Parsidora 18 with no updates, which is very undesirable. I hope things get better for Fedora 19 and later. 😦

Oh, new Solar (Jalali) year has come 13 days ago and we are in year 1392. Happy Nowruz! 🙂

Happy Nowruz

Happy Nowruz

Parsidora 17 will not happen :(

I have already talked a little about my challenges in creating a Fedora 17 spin. As explained in Parsidora’s official website, unfortunately we decided to drop Parsidora 17 and work on Parsidora 18 instead. However, Parsidora 17 repository is available at the expected address which can be added to an existing Fedora 17 installation and used. Any feedback about the packages in this repo is appreciated, since it can help us fix problems in upcoming Parsidora 18 repository.


Parsidora 17?! (or: ongoing problems in creating a Fedora 17 installation DVD spin/remix)

It has been long since Fedora 17 is released, and Parsidora 17 should have been already released. However, I wasn’t able to work on Parsidora when Fedora 17 was released. Later, we had problems with the systems we use to build Parsidora (which should have enough bandwidth and a good internet connection). Our initial plan was to run a Fedora 17 OS on oVirt and build Parsidora in it. However, Fedora 17 didn’t boot on the oVirt we had in a CentOS system. My friend tried to solve the problem and discussed with some relevant sources, but with no success. Finally, we gave up on using oVirt and reverted back to running Fedora 17 on KVM.

I started the work and created initial spins. At first, there was the space problem. The initial ISOs were about 6.5GiB which was much more than the size of a standard DVD. Looks like that Fedora itself is using more space on its installation DVD. After several attempts, and by removing some packages (specially Wesnoth) I was able to reach an acceptable size.

Now, it was the time to test the installation of our new ISO. My friend tested it on KVM and told me that it shows an exception in the early stages. I checked myself, and after some investigation I realized that this is a known bug, which is recently solved and I should update the lorax package of the host Fedora 17 OS.

I updated lorax and some other packages which could affect building a new installation media, and started the process again. When the ISO was ready, I tried to install it under KVM. Fortunately, the exception didn’t happen again, and I was able to proceed in anaconda and let it start the installation. It prepared for the installation and started to install the first package. CPU usage of the virtual machine reached 100% and… nothing else happened. I waited for a long time but it never installed the first package.

I decided to use the installer’s shell to gather some info, but it was not there! After searching in the Internet, I found that it is also a known problem which is solved in Fedora 18, but not for Fedora 17. Using the information given in the bug report, I was able to work around this problem too.

Unfortunately, I still don’t know why the installer is unable to start installing the packages. It might be a KVM only problem, or a general problem. My friend is going to test it on a real machine to see if it is a KVM only (or hardware specific) problem.

I hope that we can find a solution to this problem too. Creating Parsidora 17 has consumed more energy than expected, and its feature is still ambiguous.  While creating a Fedora spin a while after its final release has many advantages, it can be problematic in either building or installer because of some updates which could affect building the spin, or the installer environment (e.g. kernel and systemd).

Update: I forgot to mention the second crash in anaconda which was due to this bug, which is fixed for Fedora 18 but not Fedora 17. I worked around this bug by changing lorax configuration files so that it’ll install hostname package in the installer image.

Well, I just created a new spin with 3.5.6 kernel and latest updates, and the problem still persists. 😦

Hope that Parsidora 17 can see the light of the day! 😛

Fedora 17, Offline Updates, Parsidora, Yum Fast Downloader and Nokia N9!

It is a long time since my last post. I was intended to publish a post about Fedora 17 Alpha, and written a draft but published nothing until now; well after Fedora 17 release! So, here is a summary of things I’d liked to post during this period:

Fedora 17: Fedora 17 released with a number of interesting features like GCC 4.7 and Gimp 2.8. Also, Gnome 3.4 came with some visual improvements. Other interesting features are: Eclipse Juno, English Typing Booster, Automatic Multi-seat, Gnome shell software rendering, Private /tmp for some services (a security feature), Mingw64, and a major update to Ruby(1.9.3) among other things.
Simultaneously, there are a number of promised features missing from Fedora 17, like Network Zones, Firewalld, and NetworkManager Enterprise features (some of which appear to be completed for Fedora 17, but I can’t find them!). And I was eagerly waiting for Anaconda UI redesing (I’m waiting for it since Fedora 15!) which seems to be seriously scheduled for Fedora 18.

Offline Updates: it is a feature planned to be ready for Fedora 18. And as far as I can see, it is the feature that I’ll heartedly hate! While I rarely used PackageKit already (since it doesn’t provide required information about its downloading, which is really needed when you don’t have a reliable high speed internet connection), I hoped it’ll become more usable (or my internet access might improve!) and I’ll use it more in future. But with this mandatory feature, I’m sure that I’d never return back to PackageKit. It makes update process much like Windows, and actually even worse (Windows requires one reboot but it requires two). Its good that you can skip the updates when you need your system (unlike Windows which don’t give you any options and starts updating on reboot), but I still hate it when I’m unable to use my system and update it simultaneously. I really hate it, since it tends to “do MOST of the updates offline” as mentioned in its discussion page. It’s overkill: while updating kernel has absolutely no harm when you are using your system, it’ll be done “offline”. Do you want to update vim? wget? aria2? It’ll be done offline. What about system services (daemons) which are assumed to be able to be updated cleanly and restart themselves on update? They will be updated offline too. Surprisingly, Firefox might be updated online and not notify you that you should restart it to avoid problems (Actually, it should not be updated offline, just you should be notified to restart firefox or at least to log out and relogin). So, I’ll stick to yum, and look forward to DNF forgetting about PakageKit.

Parsidora 17: we have not released it yet, but hopefully very soon with a number of new features and hopefully a live version!

YFD Plugin: If you were using my yum-fast-downloader plugin version 0.5.9 or older on Fedora 17, you have faced an error message trying to use yum after the recent python-urlgrabber update. If you have not already done, you must update to version 0.5.10 to be able to continue using it on Fedora 17. The latest urlgrabber has support for external downloaders, it’ll help YFD to provide better support. Considering the latest updates to presto to use URLGrabber’s async download, presto support can also come to YFD more easily.

Nokia N9: While this mobile phone (the only MeeGo phone) was already dead when it launched, I really liked it and I finally decided to buy it. I bought it recently and I’m really enjoying it. I will probably provide some packages for it or I might even start developing some applications for this platform. Yes, I’m going to learn .deb packaging! Fortunately, the dead phone has received 3 updates from Nokia which is probably the support you expect for a phone. 🙂

Parsidora 16 Released!

Happy new year!

I’m happy to announce the release of next version of our Fedora remix: Parsidora 16 :D! We expect it to be a solid release based on latest updates for Fedora 16, providing a pleasant experience for “others”.  It can be downloaded from our sourceforge space. Everything that a regular user expects should work out of the box, or is a few clicks away. While the default installation adds only a few packages to the Fedora’s default installation, there are lots of packages in DVD media which can be added either during the installation of after the installation using Add/Remove Software or yum.

Parsidora 16 Login Page

Compared to Parsidora 15 and Fedora 16, this released provides relatively few new changes. A few packages have been added to the media, including: Openshot, Synapse, Choqok and Hotot, Tucan, phpMyAdmin, Klavaro and a few more TeXLive 2011 packages. Also, for the first time we are planning to release a Live media version in addition to Parsidora installation medias; but it is not released yet.

Parsidora 16 also comes with an updated version of Jockey(0.9.6) following upstream jockey releases. Parsidora 15 was the first distro coming with Jockey in the Fedora world. It was interesting for others too, as it was added to Fedora Utils, and some other Fedora remixes like Kororaa. In fact, Chris Smart from Kororaa Linux had joined me and helped in preparing the latest Jockey for Fedora. I’m really happy to collaborate with him, which has resulted in higher quality packages. He also added support for installing akmod packages rather than kmods. You can install the latest version of Jockey for Fedora from Parsidora 16 repository similar to the instructions given here. I sent a number of my patches upstream and fortunately, all of them are accepted. It is a healthy collaboration which benefits both parties. 🙂

I was trying to add Jockey to RPMFusion, but adding it properly needs some changes which I should discuss with RPMFusion developers. I didn’t have time for it, but I’ll probably re-start my efforts soon.

Due to its size, Parsidora is not very friendly to downloaders, but once it is downloaded it is very handy to pass on. You won’t need any external packages for most of your usual needs, and this is one of our main goals. Still, it doesn’t bloat your default install, which is not (usually) achievable by live distributions and is helpful to people who do not have access to fast internet connections. However, we are going to provide a live version for others too!

YFD plugin updated

A while back I introduced Yum Fast Downloader plugin, a plugin to use a download accelerator application (Aria2) to download yum metadata and packages (except delta rpms). The next step is trying to integrate such a functionality in Yum itself. However, I have not found the time to implement my ideas in yum, and the a few bugs in the plugin were found. Therefore, today I spend some time to identify and solve the known problems and a new update is already pushed into the plugin’s repository. Therefore, all of YFD users are encouraged to update their plugin ASAP. Hopefully, it should now work much better now. 🙂

Thanks for your interest,

Hedayat 🙂

Parsidora 15 is out!

Finally, we released the third version of Parsidora: Parsidora 15. It brings an up-to-date Fedora Remix and tries to provide a more pleasant out of the box experience for people not bound by US law. Therefore, you can find multimedia codecs and other extra goodies in it. Unlike others, its primary focus is on providing an Installation DVD/media instead of a live version. While we are going to release a live version too, it is not our primary goal because our main target users are users who do not have access to high speed internet. Therefore, the image takes 4.7GB almost completely and we try to make sure that most of our target users are able to receive it through internet shops or from their friends.

Parsidora is NOT a localized distribution, and the main language is English. But it does provide some features suitable for Persian users, which can be easily disabled during the installation. Therefore, it can be considered an international distribution.

As mentioned already, Parsidora 15 is the first Fedora remix which features Jockey for easier hardware driver installation. You can read more about this version in this release announcement.

Thanks to all Fedora and RPMFusion contributors for creating such an interesting and high quality product, which enabled us to create Parsidora based on their efforts.